Communities need capable and compassionate leaders to help them prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural and manmade disasters. Within the Tulane University School of Social Work, the Online Master of Social Work (MSW) and Master of Science in Disaster Resilience Leadership (MS-DRL) dual degree program prepares students to launch extraordinary careers as social workers who possess interdisciplinary training in disaster resilience.
The unique curriculum develops leaders to create and implement effective resilience programs and empowerment-centered social services to address the needs of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
Why Pursue the Online MSW/MS-DRL Dual Degree?
Graduates of this program are uniquely positioned to help their communities and organizations prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural and manmade disasters.
Although many graduate programs focus individually on social work or disaster and risk management, Tulane’s Online MSW/MS-DRL dual degree program is the first to blend the two areas with a focus on the role and development of interdisciplinary leadership. Students in this program acquire the competencies to pursue professional roles in the planning, management, and delivery of human services within communities.
The five-semester curriculum requires the completion of 75 credit hours:
- 51 credit hours in social work
- 24 credit hours in disaster resilience leadership studies
During the first academic year, courses focus primarily on social work, and students’ enrollment in disaster resilience leadership courses increases throughout the remaining four semesters.
Students also engage in a field internship program that joins real-world social work practice with disaster risk management.
Research and Partnerships
Research is a key part of our mission, as it allows us to continue to evaluate and evolve social work and disaster resilience leadership and share these innovations through professional and public media.
- Program research initiatives include:
- The DRLA Summer Institute
- Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI)
- Faculty research, including the Traumatology Journal, the Tulane University Traumatology Institute, and the Consortium for Resilient Gulf Communities
The Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy (DRLA) has partnered with the following organizations to help facilitate research and educational opportunities for our students and graduates:
- American Red Cross
- Consortium for Resilient Gulf Communities
- Global Resilience Partnership
- United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
The employment outlook is bright for graduates of the Online MSW/MS-DRL dual degree program. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the employment of social workers to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.
In addition, the BLS projects employment in emergency and relief-services occupations to exceed the average for all occupations between 2016 and 2026. Recent disasters — from pandemics and public health crises to wildfires and hurricanes — will only fuel that growth even more.
Our alumni work in a wide range of fields, including:
Why Choose Tulane?
Tulane University is home to one of the oldest and most highly regarded schools of social work in the country. For more than 100 years, the Tulane University School of Social Work has prepared aspiring social workers to bring positive change to communities around the world.
The school’s dedication to teaching students about human diversity and the importance of promoting social and environmental justice is exemplified by the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy’s mission of strengthening leadership in communities to address the root causes of vulnerability, such as chronic poverty and social inequality.
Importantly, Tulane students have the unique opportunity to learn from the resilience of New Orleans, a city that has shown tremendous strength and recovery in the aftermath of disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill.